While visiting Kolayat during the full moon festival, I took so many photographs that my head was spinning nonstop, turning in all directions. As always, it is the people who capture my imagination, particularly the women who were flattered by my interest.
For the most part, they are village women whose lives involve much physical labor and are subject to a strict conservative code of behavior and even dress. As their daughters move to the city, this is gradually changing.
When I began reviewing all my photos, I was struck by how all the women wore head scarves or veils, an import left over from the legacy of India’s Muslim invaders that established the separation of men and women known as purdah.
It is not unusual to see women completely cover their face with their veil.
Bright colors like red, magenta and orange are the most popular, off setting the drab desert landscape. These cheerfully veiled and dressed women are like magnificent flowers blooming in a harsh garden where water is scarce.